“Unsolicited recommendations”: why learn to search for music without the help of streaming services

4 min


After reviewing alternatives for background we told where to looking for and how to select new tracks… Today we will see what streaming platforms are criticized for (in addition to the low quality of recommendations), and why it is useful to dilute their “advice” with an independent and conscious search for music.

Photo: John Hult. Source: Unsplash.com
Photo: John Hult. Source: Unsplash.com

Something went wrong

Not everyone manages to “train” the system so that it produces new tracks that they like and get into the mood… Quality of recommendations music and video content, repetitions in “playlists of the day“And” selections of the week “are becoming a tangible problem. But there is also others: a sudden substitution of the usual versions of songs and remixes for updated ones, local restrictions to individual tracks in purchased albums, confused titles, metadata errors, and even censorship

This is not the end of it. A month ago in a column for The New Yorker Alex Ross (Alex ross), renowned critic and laureate of numerous awards in the field of music journalism, made a reference to Kyle Devine’s book entitled “Decomposed“. She talks about the impact of the music industry, including streaming services, on the environment and explains how online distribution and multiple (repeated) downloads of tracks are causing ever more significant environmental damage, incomparable even with the waste from vinyl and other media.

Alex rightly notes that the release of the book also does not pass without leaving a trace for the health of the planet, but – like its author – does not suggest going to the window and throwing the smartphone out the window, but only emphasizes that the consumption of music content can be a little more conscious.

Photo: Annie Spratt. Source: Unsplash.com
Photo: Annie Spratt. Source: Unsplash.com

As a weighty argument, he cites an article where the risks of streaming from the point of view of information security are analyzed in a humanitarian, but rather detailed way. According to analytical review author representing the University of Texas at Austin, heads of algorithms and recommender systems at a number of major music services often boast that they “know not only what they are listening to, but what their audience is doing.”

An old, but textbook example of a not very successful PR’a in the context of this article – story director of one of these companies about the most popular tracks in the bathroom.

Even if you do not take into account such statements and scandalous stories about the automatic installation of malware in free versions of streaming accounts, music service developers have enough problems – as with musicians’ earningsand with user experience listeners.

The latter often do not see new tracks just because they do not fall into the right category. Known examples of such situations are – cases legendary “Old town road“And music New Mexico

Someone may consider these difficulties insignificant, others perceive them as a reminder of what can be learned from the “reserves” of our favorite compositions already available to each of us.

Photo: Brett Jordan. Source: Unsplash.com
Photo: Brett Jordan. Source: Unsplash.com

My own curator

A disc rack, external drive, network archive player, or music library on your computer can be a great alternative to recommendations of journalists and services.

If you take and study your own selection of tracks without haste, can find many artists and bands that you want to add to your online playlist later.

It cannot be ruled out that you will decide to take something from such finds on vinyl or other media. If you already have a collection of records, the analysis of your favorite tracks can result in digitization of the entire archive, which is also quite a worthy idea. But do not forget about one of the most underrated ways to find new music – advice from friends, colleagues and friends on a particular hobby.

Can a streaming service know your music preferences better than a friend? It seemed to many that this task have already decided ten years ago, but we must admit that today – the question is reopened. While this is so, it is worth using all of them yourself. available means

Photo: Artificial Photography. Source: Unsplash.com
Photo: Artificial Photography. Source: Unsplash.com

Why is it important

Proactive decision-making is the key to greater self-confidence and a better quality of life that confirm research. But this conclusion is also true for the selection of music. Just knowing how this or that album was recorded, published and how this affected the authors’ income will not only make us a little happier, but also discover new ones. earning opportunities those who have put emotions into their work, and often – last money

A conscious attitude towards what to listen to has more practical meaning than it might seem at first glance. Even three laps on the playable race track show that this is so. According to exactly this researchconducted by experts from the University of Glasgow Caledon with the participation of 125 volunteers, self-selected musical accompaniment contributes to increasing efficiency and obtaining positive emotions from their activities, plus – reducing stress and the influence of various distractions on the process.

PS Next time we will continue to study this topic and discuss what the market for web radio stations is now, and which of them we could recommend for listening.


What else do we analyze on Habré:

  • Pros and Cons: Upscaling Historical Videos

  • Discussion: “I want a simple box, not this all”



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